As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.

Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.

Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Earlier this week, I posted the first six rounds of the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft. You’re never going to believe this, but I’m now going to post rounds 7-12. At the end of it all, there will be four posts and 23 total rounds. It’s a lot of work, but you guys are worth it.

Here is a quick recap of the league rules for this mock:

This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1).

As I did the last time, I’ll post the rounds below with some of my thoughts beneath the picks. I’ll keep the thoughts brief since we have a bunch of rounds to get through. That pissed off at least one commenter last time who apparently wanted more Mike Maher analysis and less Mike Maher patting himself on the back. Let’s see if I can do better this time around…

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After going over my top 10 for 2017 fantasy baseball and top 20 for 2017 fantasy baseball (clickbait!), I move onto the one post all year that make all the ladies say ‘Ooooh…’ The manner in which those ladies in question say ‘Ooooh…’ is as such, “Ooooh…So, are we going to the mall after you’re done reading that fantasy baseball nonsense or can we go now and, while I’m shopping, you sit outside Orange Julius reading that shizz while I’m dropping buckets of duckets on earrings?  And, no, we can’t go to Lush so you can play with the handmade soaps.”  It’s better if we leave it at, this post makes all the ladies say ‘Ooooh…’  The ellipsis says enough, I think.  The projections noted in the post are my own, and I mention where tiers start and stop.  I also mention a bunch of hullabaloo, so let’s get to it.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Greetings, friends. I hopped over to the football side of things once last year’s baseball season ended, but now I’m back. And apparently, I am such a disturbed individual that I am doing fantasy baseball mock drafts in early January. And, I am writing about them. And, well, I just wanted to start another sentence with and because it feels so wrong but so right at the same time. Anyway, moving on.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft, and we’re going to recap it here. This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1). As long as I did that math correctly, that is 23 spots.

Below, I will provide the results for the first six rounds and a give my thoughts for each round. I’ll do the same for rounds 7-12, 13-18, and 19-23 in subsequent posts. I’ll try to keep it brief. All we really care about are the results here, right? Feel free to tell me how awesome or crappy you think my team is, along with what you think were the best and worst picks of the draft or the different rounds…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It feels like just the other day the baseball regular season started.  You wrote “I heart baseball” in permanent marker on your arm, then you met a girl who wrote “I heart guys who heart baseball” on her arm, then, during sex in July, you screamed out “I got a Trumboner!” and now you don’t have baseball or a girlfriend.  C’mon, calendar, make like a soldier and turn to March.  The only cure for the post-baseball season blues — recapping the preseason top twenty lists and being hand-fed Doritos.  First up, Cool Ranch and our preseason Top 20 Catchers for 2016.  It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2017.  To paraphrase the one and only B-Real, “How do you know where you’re at, if you don’t know where you’ve been? Understand where I’m coming from?”  (Also, if you missed it, I interviewed B-Real this year on our podcast, though that might not have been as good as our Jose Canseco interview.)  It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  It’s cold hard math, y’all!  Please, for the love that all is holy, don’t ask me if this is for next year.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Never in a million years would I have fathomed that my final DraftKings article of the year would start off touching on the death of one of the best pitchers that this generation has ever seen. I can easily say that–even though Fernandez was 24 years old–because his talent was off the charts and he had the numbers to back it up. This season alone, he posted a 2.89 ERA with a whopping 253 strikeouts in 182.1 innings pitched. That gave him a league leading 12.5 K/9. It was a somber scene in Miami on Monday night, but in true baseball fashion, an unbelievable moment was created when Dee Gordon–who came into the game with eight career home runs in over 2,200 plate appearances–hit a lead off home run and was balling his eyes out as he crossed home plate. As fans, we didn’t know Jose Fernandez personally. The Jose Fernandez was knew was the elite pitcher that was on the mound every fifth day. His smile lit up the stadium and clearly his teammates thought the world of him. Baseball is unlike any other sport in the sense that these guys are with each other every single days for over seven months out of the year. Unlike other professional sports, there are games practically everyday. The tribute was touching and well deserved, but this is a tough one for every baseball fan on the planet. Time will pass and the wound of losing Fernandez will start to heal, but he will forever be etched in our memories. Rest in peace. Thanks, Jose.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday October 3rd to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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On Sunday morning, I woke around 8 AM to read a text from Rudy saying, “Awful news, Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.”  I put on my glasses, no time for contacts, and turned on the TV.  It was still on Fox Sports West because I was watching Vin Scully tributes all weekend.  Yesterday morning, Fox Sports was playing Anglers Chronicles, a fishing show, which is wrong in so many ways.  After switching the stations, groggy-eyed and still half asleep, I realized TV was not the place anymore to go for breaking news.  I shut it off and turned to the internet.  I’m still piecing together my thoughts.  He was 24 years old, even if he never played baseball this is a horrible loss of life.  I’m reminded of all the friends I lost to motorcycles in their twenties.  I’m struck by how inconsequential fantasy feels.  There’s a giant pit in my stomach.  Then, I think about how I never saw Jose Fernandez not smiling.  Not having fun.  I think about how on that boat, Saturday evening, you know Jose Fernandez was having a great time, because he was always having a great time.  That exuberance came through in everything he did.  I think about how he spent time in prison after one of his numerous failed attempts of escaping Cuba, and how, even then, he was likely making fellow inmates smile.  How the excellence he brought to the mound every fifth day was felt all the way back in Cuba to raise up even the darkest corners of Cuba’s prisons.  “That was us.  That is us,” the inmates, who are still incarcerated for trying to escape, likely said.  How baseball does that.  How special that is.  You see what you’re going to see in tragedy, but I see Jose Fernandez pitching, and baseball, and making himself and others smile.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I don’t understand this.  The Padres’ Triple-A affiliate made a run for the Triple-A championship against the Yankees’ affiliate, so the Padres were holding down their top prospects to play in the championship.  On the surface, it seems straightforward enough.  Making run for championship, want best players there.  Okay, I get that part.  The part where I get lost, WHY DO YOU CARE IF YOU WIN A TRIPLE-A CHAMPIONSHIP?!  Sorry, my keyboard got sticky the other day when Giancarlo returned.  Don’t ask.  The Padres are in the business of winning AAA championships?  I don’t remember the Yankees keeping Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin in Triple-A to help their Triple-A team.  I’d love to go into the Padres’ front office, throw some furniture against a wall and start screaming, “Let’s win some major league games for a change!”  They need a organization-wide readjustment, and Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it), is just the man to do it!  So, with this said, the Padres called up Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot (and some other guys).  Margot and Renfroe, who sounds like a name that exists to only be said by Scooby Doo, are top 100 prospects.  Margot is straight SAGNOF this late in the year, maybe could provide a few steals in the last ten days, and Renfroe is the exact opposite, with a chance to provide a few dingers.  They’re not going to make much impact in ten days.  Too bad they had a Triple-A playoff run to attend to first.  Which they lost!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s not much of a secret, of course; or at least, it’s not an undocumented fact: the Rockies away from Coors can be a bore with the bats. Wanna know an undocumented fact? Harambe might be a more long lasting meme than Crying Jordan when all is said and done. I don’t know how I feel about that, honestly, but #DicksOutForHarambe needs to go. NOW. Or at least, the pics preceding do…because gross. But more to the point, the Rockies and the road are the antithesis of Forrest and Jenny. Ice cream and cyanide? Gingers and souls? Jose Canseco and Grey? All important things to factor here as really, Rockies are generally trashy Mctrashersons on the road, holding down the 6th worst wRC+ while K’ing the 4th most at 23.6%. And with that, we turn to our key bold faced name for the intro: A.J. Cole. Cole’s season debut wasn’t spectacular, but definitely useful as he K’d 8 Orioles over 7 IP. He finished just short of 20 points and that was without a win and in Camden Yards. You intrigued yet? Mmm-hmm, thought so. Throw in the fact he’s only $6,300 and for once, it’s alright to get a Cole in your stocking so let’s roll. Here’s my I’m still pretending summer will last forever taeks for this Saturday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday August 29th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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Who am I kidding? Jameson is meant to be savored, sip by delicious sip, not shot like some two bit well whiskey. Jameson on the rocks is more like it. Hopefully we don’t see any of Jameson on the ropes tonight though. Tonight is a bit of a weird night as far as pitching is concerned on DraftKings. There’s the big two and then every other pitchers is under $9,800. So, the question is do you pony up for one of the top two or do you cheap out and pay up for bats? My choice will be to drop down and Jameson Taillon will be my main guy. Jameson checks in at a mere $7,800 and has some of the highest upside of the bunch. The Reds are bottom five in all of baseball in team OPS and just traded away their biggest power threat in Jay Bruce. The Pirates are at home, something I always like in my top arm, and to boot, PNC Park is known to suppress lefty power, so Mr. Votto will likely have to settle for taking a walk to get aboard. Walking guys is not something Taillon has been apt to do this year, which is a trait I always adore in a pitcher. Across AAA and the majors, a span of 18 starts, Taillon has a 1.0 walk-rate. I’ll take that and an 8.0 K-rate all day for $7,800. Let’s take a look at some other picks that will have us sipping our finest whiskey in celebration tonight:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday August 8th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?